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MMC investment in Invsta

MMC has followed up its surprise purchase of the ASB-owned Aegis investment platform early in October by taking a small slice of Auckland-based fintech firm, Invsta.

Under the deal, Invsta will offer front-end technology – in particular onboarding and web portal tools – to MMC’s broader client base. Mint Asset Management is the first MMC client to adopt the Invsta technology.

Tom Reiher, MMC chief, said in a statement that the arrangement with Invsta was “in line with our push for improved process efficiencies through automation”.

Reiher said while MMC released a web portal in 2017, the fund administration firm has more recently focused on “delivering a comprehensive suite of both fund and investor information” via application programming interface [API] tools that allows clients to develop their own front-end systems.

“For those clients who have been using our investor portal, Invsta’s technology provides the opportunity to step up to the next level,” he said. “The solution that Invsta has developed with Mint, using MMC’s APIs, facilitates onboarding and investment transacting and integrates with Mint’s investment fund offering.”

Mint chief, Rebecca Thomas, said in the release that working with Invsta and MMC would help the boutique active fund manager offer “an exceptional front-end experience for our investors”.

“Having this new digital interface will make it easy for investors and financial advisers to invest into Mint, while also providing greater transparency and information on their investments,” Thomas said. “This allows us to concentrate on what we do best – getting great returns for our clients.”

According to Reiher, MMC and Invsta, founded by Rachel Strevens, have been in talks since earlier this year to sound out joint opportunities.

Launched in 2016, Invsta has built several fintech product lines covering robo-advice, investor portals, client onboarding, cryptocurrency platforms as well as KiwiSaver and investment calculators, among others.

Strevens said Invsta would offer MMC clients “a range of innovative, white label interfaces and modules that will significantly enhance their online investor functionality and experience, improving business efficiencies through automation”.

Invsta is also eyeing up opportunities in Asia after completing a stint in the Kiwibank fintech accelerator in 2018.

MMC, half-owned by NZ private equity firm Pencarrow, snapped up Aegis for an undisclosed sum early in October.

The acquisition, expected to complete in December, represents a new business sector for MMC, which to date has focused on middle- and back-office fund administration rather than direct interaction with financial advisers and investors. Aegis last reported about $16 billion in funds under administration (FUA).

MMC, meanwhile, boast 28 clients and $58 billion in FUA on behalf of 260 underlying funds while supplying registry services to more than 160,000 investors.